Story Starter: Jobs

Shutterstock / Angelo Giampiccolo © story starter

Tinker, tailor, soldier, spy. For this week’s story starter, use your character’s job as a starting point and see where it takes you.

Your mission is to write a story set at the workplace of your main character.

Do your research

Unless you’ve worked in the job yourself, then you’ll need to research in order to make the story realistic.

You don’t need to go as far as getting qualified, but it will help to know a few things!

Autobiographies, memoirs, documentaries and podcasts can be good places to start. You can always dive deeper into the topic if something more specific arises in your story.

Ask a friend or family member who works in the field to regale you with their stories. They’re bound to have some!

Creating tension

What’s causing an issue in your main character’s working life?

Is there a rival colleague going for the same job?

Did something happen at the last Christmas party?

Have they developed feelings for a new colleague?

Are they in the bad books with their boss?

Has a big problem arisen that only the main character can fix?

Have they been offered a job at an international branch of the company?

Are they spending too much time at work and neglecting other aspects of their life?

Career change

All that’s left to do is pick a job for your main character.

In another life, what job would you have loved to have? Which job did you aspire to as a child? Or maybe there’s a particular job that just interests you.

If you’re stuck, try one of these:



Museum guide

Bingo manager

Voice over artist











Stunt performer


Marine biologist

For more story starters from the Fiction team, click here.

We sometimes post prompts during our Writing Hour on Twitter, too!

Abigail Phillips

Abbie is the newest member of the fiction team at the "Friend." She loves how varied the role is - every day is different and there is always a new story to read. She is keen to work closely with established writers and discover new writers, too.